PVA Encouraged

Reprinted from PN/Paraplegia News September 2014

Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) says it’s reassured about the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA).

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Former Procter & Gamble (P&G) executive Robert McDonald was unanimously confirmed by the Senate (97-0) on July 29 as VA Secretary.

“Paralyzed Veterans of America is encouraged by secretary McDonald’s confirmation and we hope that now the new leadership can get to work addressing the many challenges facing VA, particularly with regard to the culture of the workforce and access to health care,” said PVA President Al Kovach.

A West Point graduate and former Army captain, McDonald replaces acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson, who took over in May after Eric Shinseki resigned.

Shinseki left office after five years on May 30 amid allegations of veterans receiving improper care at several VA medical facilities.

During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee on July 22, McDonald said “taking care of veterans is personal” because of his families military history. His father and father-in-law served in World War II and his nephew is currently in the Air Force.

“I desperately want this job because I think I can make a difference,” the 61-year-old said.

McDonald promised in his opening statement to the committee to take a “series of immediate actions” in the first 90 days.

“Those employees that have violated the trust of the department and of veterans must be, and will be, held accountable.”

McDonald graduated in 1975 in the top 2% of his class at West Point and then served five years in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. McDonald was named President and CEO of P&G in 2009, and Chairman of the Board in 2010.

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